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The Scarlet & Black

Arts and crafts and more: the student crafts studio prepares for a new semester

Students’ Crafts Studio student leaders Gunshenan, Greenwood and Hofammann in the ceramics studio. Photo by Tela Ebersole.

The appendage of the South Campus loggia between James and Haines is home to two distinct visual arts spaces which collectively comprise the Students’ Crafts Studio. The studio is split to create a small darkroom and a larger ceramics studio.

The ceramics studio is completely student-run with five student staff members, including co-managers Clare Gunshenan ’14 and Gus Fulgoni ’15.

“There is a membership [fee]. It’s 35 dollars for the semester, and you get full access to clay—all the clay, as much as you can use—the glazes and we run the firings,” Gunshenan noted.

In addition, the studio has a policy which they extend to all students: if students are unsure whether they are ready to commit, they can play with the clay before making their decisions.

The biggest and most recent changes in the ceramics studio include more formal ceramics teaching for interested students during office hours and a staff that is traditionally trained in ceramics, as well as significantly more student participation in the studio. The studio promotes itself as an open space and welcomes students with varying levels of experience with ceramics. In addition, they hope to introduce new colors, as well as glazing and throwing techniques for the semester.

During their office hours, the staff of the ceramics studio assist members by answering questions, teaching new techniques and helping members become better oriented to the studio. Although their weekend hours have not yet been determined, the staff members are available, along with their comprehensive knowledge of ceramics, from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Sheva Greenwood ’16 and Dabney Hofammann ’15 are in charge of the darkroom. Like the ceramics studio, they are a student-run group. Posters, word of mouth and NSO activities have helped to get the word out. While there are typically around five to eight students who come to the darkroom regularly, increased participation occurs at certain points during the semester.

Some of the students involved with the darkroom have had some experience with photography. However, many students have not had opportunities to receive formal instruction in photography, especially given that Grinnell does not offer such classes. In fact, the darkroom community welcomes students with and without photography experience, feeling that it thrives on the creative ideas which students bring.

The darkroom, which is open to all students at all hours of the day, has a fee of 20 dollars for each semester. In addition, there will be staff available in the evenings for four hours a week to help those who are interested.

“Film photography takes so long to do. It’s very much a commitment to go through all the steps and get your pictures out of it,” Greenwood explained.

This semester, Greenwood and Hoffman are hoping to have more media format supplies available to students. Last academic year, there was a student artwork showcase in Bob’s Underground Café, and the two hope to organize a similar show again this semester. In addition, they have been making arrangements to have some of the photographs produced in the darkroom displayed in buildings around campus, including the JRC.

Students’ Crafts Studio student leaders Gunshenan, Greenwood and Hofammann in the ceramics studio. Photo by Tela Ebersole.
Students’ Crafts Studio student leaders Gunshenan, Greenwood and Hofammann in the ceramics studio. Photo by Tela Ebersole.
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